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Gentle Giant - In A Glass House CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.36 | 1523 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars "So, you think KC's Discipline is complex?" asked Gentle Giant, shortly adding: "Here, hold my beer.": 8/10

In my review of THE POWER AND THE GLORY, I claimed it was GENTLE GIANT's most complex and intricate album. Upon re-listening to IN A GLASS HOUSE, I noticed how ferociously wrong I was.

It's been quite a journey since their 1970 hard-rocking debut, well quite long enough for them to firm an identifiable sound characteristical to them. Xylophones, lush keyboards, intricate odd time signatures, songs with more layers than onions, etc.

GENTLE GIANT was respected especially for their defiant experimentation and absurd complexity. They, nonetheless, acknowledged those two traits had a limit.

Until 1973.

1973 was the year they finally saved enough money (yeah, it took them three years; they weren't really popular) to buy a sports car. Their first trip on the vehicle was used to storm past the boundary lines of what is complexity that is humanly possible to achieve. The music police just couldn't really bother chasing those transgressors, it would be a lost cause anyway. Everyone - all the witnesses - from GENTLE GIANT fans to PROG fans to PUNK fans to POP fans just stood there, staring in disbelief, thinking "Well, this time they blew it."

They really did. They took their wildest ambitions and lived them to the maximum. They took all that is holy and moderate on music and dumped it in a black hole. Experience, for instance, is terrifying. So much happening simultaneously, so many instruments playing at once, so many elaborate layers working in unison to output that barely comprehensible frenzy.

But, fear not my friends, GG manipulates complexity as proficiently as Hephestus forges an Olympic bronze dory for Ares' hoplites. Their music still sounds as music, still sound as GENTLE GIANT, still sounds as pleasant as ever. It induces to seizures, yes it does, but meh it's worth it. The GENTLE GIANT automaton was officially working at full steam: pinnacling lyricism, songwriting, and sonorous difficulty.

IN A GLASS HOUSE is a concept album like most their other albums, god those guys just loved doing this stuff and they never really failed on crafting them superbly. The melodies and songs are varied and pretty cool, such as the unsettling An Inmates Lullaby, the enjoyable Way of Life or the ridiculously difficult Experience.

Not for the faint of the heart, and in the name of all that is good not for people unaccustomed to Gentle Giant. For those who are, approach this with caution: GENTLE GIANT goes all-out berserk.

Luqueasaur | 4/5 |


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